David K. Klassen, MD, has been selected as the chief medical officer of the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS). UNOS matches donated organs with transplant candidates nationwide and manages the national transplant database through contract with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
“David is one of the most respected transplant professionals in the country," said OPTN/UNOS President Carl Berg, MD. "He’s cared for many kidney transplant patients over the years. Now he’ll contribute to the health and safety of all who need a transplant.”
As chief medical officer, Klassen will serve as an expert medical and clinical resource to other UNOS staff, committee members, the government, and the general public in the performance of OPTN contract requirements and other UNOS corporate initiatives. He will provide advice with respect to the medical and clinical aspects of OPTN operations, including participation in OPTN policy development, policy compliance, patient safety-related incident handling, development of transplant clinical quality improvement initiatives, professional and lay education, and research conducted by the UNOS staff in collaboration with OPTN/UNOS members.Klassen will report to the chief executive officer and assist him in developing, planning and implementing UNOS’ strategic direction.
"Klassen comes to UNOS with nearly 30 years of clinical transplant experience at one of the busiest transplant centers in the country,” said Brian Shepard, chief executive officer of UNOS.“His experienced clinical perspective is vital in many of UNOS’ daily functions and in serving the men, women and children who depend on our national system.”
Klassen was the medical director of the Kidney and Pancreas Transplant Programs at the University of Maryland Hospital, where he was a faculty member since 1986. He has a long history of volunteer leadership with UNOS and many professional societies such as the American Society of Transplantation and the American Society of Nephrology.
Klassen earned his medical degree from the Ohio State University in Columbus and completed his internal medicine and nephrology training at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.
Klassen will be introduced as the incoming UNOS CMO to the transplant community on Sept. 16 at the Liver Forum.